Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Fandom
Name: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Abbreviation(s): HPCC
Creator: Jack Thorne, J. K. Rowling and John Tiffany
Date(s): 7 June 2016
Medium: play, book
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
External Links: Official Site, Wikipedia
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play set in the Harry Potter universe, taking place nineteen years after the Final Battle at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a two-part West End stage play written by Jack Thorne based on an original new story by Thorne, J. K. Rowling and John Tiffany. A book was released with the full script of the play.

Canon

This article or section needs expansion.

Fandom & Fan Reactions to the Play

Initial Reactions

Reactions to Hermione Granger's Casting

Accusations of Queerbaiting

The portrayal of the friendship between Albus Severus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy has attracted vehement accusations of queerbaiting from fans - particularly those who ship Albus/Scorpius (or Scorbus), but also non-shippers who are invested in seeing representation of queer relationships in the series.

During the play, Albus and Scorpius are shown to have a strong, close friendship with heavy romantic overtones, particularly through the use of the word "Always", which has a particular significance to the Potter fandom as a word used by Severus Snape to describe his enduring love for Lily Evans - giving it strong connotations of everlasting love and faithfulness.

However, at the end of the play Scorpius is shown to be romantically interested in Rose Weasley, thereby supposedly nullifying the possibility of any romance between Scorpius and Albus.

thebloggerbloggerfun summed up the frustration of many fans towards the play on tumblr:

OKAY YES SO ALL OF HIS 100 TIMES OVER AND ALSO THE QUEERBAITING WAS SO OUT OF HAND??\
Delphi: “Albus need you, Scorpius. That’s the wonderful thing[…]Find him, Scorpius. You two–you belong together.”

-

Albus: “…You’re probably the best person I know. And you don’t–you couldn’t–hold me back. You make me stronger–and when Dad forced us apart–without you–

Scorpius: “I didn’t much like my life without you in it either.”

-

Scorpius: “Still, If I had to choose a companion to be at the return of eternal darkness with, I’d choose you.”

-

Albus: “What’s this? I thought we decided we don’t hug.”

Scorpius: “I wasn’t sure. Whether we should. In this new version of us–I had in my head.”

-

Albus: “Friends?”

Scorpius: “Always.”

While I believe that all of these are great examples of baiting a gay relationship between Albus and Scorpius, please note that last one most especially.

“Always” is a word that IN THE HARRY POTTER FANDOM ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY is considered to have a romantic connotation. It is one of the most famous quotes out of the entire series and is spoken by Severus Snape in regards to his own love interest.

Dumbledore: “After all this time?”

Snape: “Always.”

As The Guardian points out this is all most likely just to draw in queer fans.

The asking out of Rose at the end of the script felt very out of left field to me and was just being used as a no-homo trope that I so adore.

Anyway.

100% agree.

Meet the Robinson’s did this plot better.

Bad characterization.

Purposeful queerbaiting.

Not great to the female characters.

Would have made a hilarious fanfic. but at least the fanfic would have been gay[1]

In an article for The Guardian entitled 'Harry Potter and the Possible Queerbaiting: why fans are mad over a lack of gay romance', Ilana Masad noted the strong presence of Albus/Scorpius shipping and fanworks in Harry Potter fandom long before the Cursed Child play was released, and the suspicions of some fans that the play was specifically and cynically designed to appeal to those shippers, without ultimately following through.

Since Rowling outed Albus Dumbledore as a gay man – retrospectively, once the books were finished and the character dead – readers have been impatient to see a gay character introduced in Harry Potter’s world.

Some Scorbus got in well ahead of the Cursed Child: there is a cornucopia of Scorbus fan fiction online, with some stories dating back to years before the play was even announced. Because of this, some commentators are suspicious that the appetite for a Scorbus romance was not unknown to those catering to it.

“The writers of the Cursed Child intentionally included this fan theory to draw us in, but decided to change it just enough so that they wouldn’t have to admit that they made two 11-year-olds gay,” Jameson Ortiz, an LGBTQ campaigner and Harry Potter fan, told me. “It’s queerbaiting because they knew exactly who they were reeling in and why, but still decided to leave out the main attraction for all the fans they hooked, choosing instead, like so many others, to set up the gay romance, hint at it constantly, make it believable and deep and perfect, and then force it out of the story.”[2]

Shipping

Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Archives & Fannish Links

Resources

References

  1. Reblog: Cursed Child was dumb and here are some reasons why, thebloggerbloggerfun via Tumblr. Posted August 21, 2016 (Accessed November 25, 2017).
  2. Harry Potter and the Possible Queerbaiting: why fans are mad over a lack of gay romance, Ilana Masad, The Guardian. Published August 16, 2017 (Accessed November 25, 2017).